Minor League Recap- May 18th, 2013

Al Messerschmidt

It was a rough night for the Astros' minor league affiliates as each of the four clubs took losses, but there were some bright spots, such as Thomas Shirley's nine strikeout performance and three hits from Domingo Santana.

The wait is almost over. Today's announcement that Jonathan Singleton is set to make his debut at low class A Quad Cities next is only going build the anticipation for the Astros best pure offensive prospect to return, and anyone making the trip to Quad Cities is going to be in for a treat while Singleton rehabs. The club will feature a wealth of top talent, and, including Singleton, arguably five of the organization's top ten talents will be rostered by the River Bandits, with Lance McCullers, Carlos Correa, Rio Ruiz and Vincent Velasquez alongside Big John. After posting a .396 OBP in AA with 21 home runs in Corpus Christi last year, expectations will be high for the 21 year old, who will make the jump to AAA once his feet are under him, and he should be ready to join the big club at some point this year, adding some power to the Astros lineup that doesn't come with maddening strikeout totals like that of Justin Maxwell or Chris Carter.

Velasquez Brilliant, but Bandits Bested by Beloit

Vincent Velasquez often gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to Astros pitching prospects, overshadowed by teammate Lance McCullers Jr. and Oklahoma City fireballer Jarred Cosart, but he has enjoyed a very successful start in his full-season debut despite some recent wobbles. The athletic right-hander got himself back on track on Saturday by twirling a five-inning gem, allowing three hits and two walks against five strikeouts while holding a dangerous Beloit lineup scoreless, lowering his ERA to 4.17. John Neely blew the save, however, and the River Bandits fell 6-3 despite RBI hits from Teoscar Hernandez, Carlos Correa and Rio Ruiz.

Cokinos Keeps Rolling, Jean Batista Resurfaces in JetHawks Loss

There might not be a better breakout story in the Astros' farm system this season than Michael-Paul Cokinos, the catcher/designated hitter for Lancaster, who has done nothing but hit since arriving on the scene as a 31st round selection out of St. Mary's junior college in Texas. After posting a .320/.370/.440 slash line in 134 plate appearances in the NYPL last year, Cokinos has handled the jump to high class A wonderfully, and reached base three times in four plate appearances yesterday on a double and two walks. Cokinos has kept his batting average stratospheric with his minuscule strikeout rate- he has been rung up just SIX times this year to date. Thomas Shirley turned in a great outing in the loss, striking out nine in four innings, but took a no-decision in the loss. Enigmatic prospect Jean Batista played in his first game of the season, going hitless, and is a name to watch going forward due to the potential he has shown with his bat.

Santana, Hernandez Bright Spots as Corpus is Downed by Aliotti, Midland

Domingo Santana has done what most scouts would likely call holding his own this year in AA, and at his age, there is nothing wrong with that. He continued to show that he belonged on Saturday, racking up two singles and a double while striking out twice in five at bats and raised his average to .254 for the season. Enrique Hernandez hit out of the two hole and also had three hits including a double, and Max Stassi continued to get things going slowly with a double of his own. Nick Tropeano had his first real rough outing of the season, allowing seven earned runs in 3 and 2/3 innings, and was the victim of one of Midland first baseman Anthony Aliotti's three home runs on the night as the Hooks fell 12-4.

Notable Performances

Quad Cities River Bandits (A)

Teoscar Hernandez- 1 for 5, 3B, 2 K

Carlos Correa- 1 for 4, BB, K

Rio Ruiz- 1 for 4, K

Ariel Ovando- 1 for 3, BB, SB

Vincent Velasquez- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K

Lancaster JetHawks (A+)

Delino DeShields- 1 for 3, 2B, BB

Jean Batista- 0 for 4, 2 K

Andrew Aplin- 0 for 4, K

Preston Tucker- 1 for 3, BB

M.P. Cokinos- 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB

Telvin Nash- 0 for 4

Brandon Meredith- 1 for 2, HR, SF

Thomas Shirley- 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 9 K

Corpus Christi Hooks (AA)

Jiovanni Mier- 1 for 4, BB

Enrique Hernandez- 3 for 5, 2B, K

George Springer- 0 for 3, BB, K

Domingo Santana- 3 for 5, 2B, 2 K

Max Stassi- 1 for 4, 2B, K

Nick Tropeano- 3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HRA

Kenny Long- 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HRA

Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA)

Jonathan Villar- 0 for 5, 4 K

Brett Wallace- 2 for 4, 2B, HR

Brandon Laird- 1 for 4, K

Marc Krauss- 0 for 4, 3 K

Fernando Martinez- 2 for 4, K

Austin Wates- 1 for 4

Carlos Perez- 1 for 3, BB, K

Jarred Cosart- 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K

Josh Zeid- 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB

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